Two views of China

December 17, 2013

I ran across a couple comments recently about cheating and corruption in China, both interesting, but pointing in different directions. The first one, from Diane Coyle, concerns the academic world:  

[In a book by Beardson], I learned that plagiarism is a pervasive problem in the Chinese academic world. One biologist, Fang Shimin, documented 500 cases of plagiarism in his field in one year. A professor named as a culprit arranged for criminals to attack Fang with a hammer. Beardson goes on to cite a consultancy to US universities advising clients to expect half of all Chinese applicants to submit forged transcripts.

China’s a huge country with many universities — in some ways like the US. In our PhD program, we typically deal with programs and people we know. Judging from the quality of the students we get, I’d say the results have been excellent. And our approach in China isn’t much different from other countries, where we tend to target a small number of schools known for producing first-rate students.

Here’s a second perspective, courtesy of lawyer/blogger Dan Harris:

I’ve been dealing with emerging market countries for the last 20 years or so, mostly helping American companies navigate emerging markets. In comparing China to other emerging market countries, my conclusion is that China’s legal system is actually more advanced and less corrupt than just about any other emerging market system.

Ah, yes, good point: emerging market countries are not the US and you shouldn’t expect them to be.

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